Best Indian Getaway Spots
We at Poor Explorer truly love India. Between us, we’ve notched up over 2 years in the country and explored its back ways & alley ways, and its hi-ways & bi-ways like few other travel blogs have. However, there is no denying that India can be a bit full on and sometimes it can all just get a bit too much. When you need a break from the hustlers, the poverty, the trash and the heat, simply head to one of our picks for the best escapes in India to refresh yourself.
If the Indian summer heat gets a bit too much for you (which it will) then head up to this beautiful Himalayan hill station in Himachal Pradesh. When the British ruled India, they found the summer heat a little too oppressive and found it impossible to get on with the important work of oppressing and subjugating the sub-continent. They therefore built a number “hill stations” into the mountains where the air was fresher, cooler and more reminiscent of the mother-land. These small scale towns essentially became summer capitals where the entire civil service complete would relocate to. Shimla is one of my favourites on account of its definitively colonial architecture and very laid back vibe; nobody will hassle you up here except for the monkeys who are a full blown menace. There are some great day hikes to do from the town which will offer rewarding scenery without hurting your legs too much. Shimla can be reached by a bumpy 10 hour bus ride from Manali or Delhi or you can cheat and fly domestically into Jubbarhatti airport.
Bougainvilla Hermitage in Goa
If the hedonistic partying of Goa gets a bit too much then head for a detox, some peace and some ancient medicine techniques at this delightful retreat a short distance from Mapsua city. The complex is only 45 minutes ride from the booming Arombol and yet could easily be in a totally different world – the centre is harmoniously set amongst some incredibly peaceful nature with hardly another soul insight. Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for 5000 years and the basic principles combine diet, physical techniques (such as massage or yoga) with herbal medicine. The resort also has an air of exclusivity rendering it a true escape from the madness of India and the heavy football of Goa. Oh, please note that the Doctors here are all fully qualified MD’s so you are getting the absolute real deal.
Corbett Tiger Reserve
Named after Jim Corbett, the British, colonial Tiger hunter (he loved the animals and only hunted dangerous man-eaters) the Tiger reserve was India’s first national park. There are 130 Tigers in the reserve but as they are neither tracked nor baited you are not guaranteed to see one (but your best chance is in April). However, the park itself is beautiful and animal enthusiasts would be hard pressed to leave feeling disappointed as there are elephants sloths and yes of course there are bloody monkeys. The park is very well managed and never gets over-crowded. Accommodation options range from the basic to the luxurious. The reserve is situated in the state of Uttarakhand and can be reached by way of a 7 hour bus ride from Delhi.
Fancying a luxurious romantic break? Yep me too! The resort set amongst a 170 acre estate of coffee & pepper plantations meaning your only neighbours will be plants and the occasional farmer. There are some gorgeous waterfalls to explore, some fine dining and you can even try the freshly grown coffee. Tamara Coorg is situated near Kabbinakad in Karnakata. Karnakata is also home to Bangalore and Hampi so the state will probably already be on your travel itinerary.
Another entry from my personal favourite state of Himachel Pradesh! Calga village is a serene, mountain escape where you can live the simple life in utmost, absolute tranquility. Sandwiched between the hummus friendly town of Casol and the overrated Keerghanga Spring, Calga is essentially a small ensemble of wooden homesteads. Hot bucket showers are available by boiling some water (20 rupees) and power cuts are semi-frequent but this only adds to the charm. There is no internet and phone coverage is limited. To get to Kalga you will need to take a local bus from Casol (about 30 minutes duration and 20 rupees cost) and then hike around 1km upwards to reach the village. Our advice is to find a place in Casol to leave your big backpack and take only what you need for a few days; the hike may be a bit much if you are carrying 70l of stuff.